Slick’s Nit-Picks: ThunderCats, Episode 106 – “Journey to the Tower of Omens”
There is a saying that hindsight is 20/20 and another that foresight is an illusion. Lion-O can definitely see clearly that he should have paid attention to the “sight beyond sight” that the sword has given him. He is trying to be the leader that his people need in order to keep from losing any more of them and now he knows that at least some of the answers lie within the sword. He knows that he will have to find the answers and master the sword if the ThunderCats are to survive. This is a race against time he started with half the clock already expired. He has to make up for that lost time and find a way to get ahead of his enemies to have any hope of success.
With the ThunderTank fueled up, the team is able to follow Jaga’s instructions on finding the Book of Omens…to a dead end. Without knowing where to go next, Lion-O calls upon the sword to give him sight beyond sight. He begins to get frustrated when he sees nothing. Mumm-Ra watches his failure from the cauldron in his pyramid. He recalls a much earlier time when he obtained the “War Stone.” Oddly enough, it seems that some of, if not all of the ThunderCats of that time were under his control. Next to Mumm-Ra stood a young ThunderCat that resembled Lion-O and on the view screen was another that resembled the the original, older Tygra. His name was Tygus and he invaded an alien world and stole the War Stone, which would come to be known as the Eye of Thundera. The flashback ends and Mumm-Ra returns to his crypt which is revealed to also be a tank for him to travel in. Cheetara urges Lion-O to try the sword again and open his mind. The ThunderKittens interrupt and suggest that the two were being naughty. WilyKit asks why the book is so hard to find and Cheetara recounts the history of how the book came to be and how the Clerics hid it. Snarf uncovers the path to the tower through hunger and pure luck.
Lion-O clears away the branches that were hiding the passageway to the tower and the team proceeds across a narrow bridge to a locked door. Tygra notices that there are many keys dangling above them and Snarf and the twins notice there are many more spikes beneath them. Cheetara uses her staff to knock some of the keys down and uses one to attempt to open the door. It is the wrong key and it makes the bridge they stood on recede completely. Everyone hangs from Panthro as he holds on for dear life until WilyKit climbs up and picks the lock. After they are all safely inside, Panthro walks down the next hallway only to trigger another trap. Spinning razor sharp blades block their path and it takes Cheetara’s speed and staff to clear the hall. This next door leads to a room with a pool full of gold that has two beams of light shining up from it at two lion heads. WilyKit and Kat are immediately intrigued by their love of treasure and when they reach into the pool, the ripples disrupt the light beams. This causes the lion heads to fill the room with water. Tygra figures when the water fills the room they will escape through the panel at the top but Panthro cannot swim and he sinks to the bottom. Lion-O tries to save him but he cannot hold his breath long enough. As Panthro hits bottom, he notices a door. he manages to come out above the flooded room and removes the heavy plate that would have otherwise doomed his teammates. With all obstacles behind them, they run to the exit, only to find a short cliff, more jungle and a waterfall on the other side. Cheetara encourages Lion-O to use the sword and believe in himself. As Lion-O commands the sword to give him sight beyond sight, he sees that beneath them there is a switch he cannot reach. Tygra uses his whip to hit the switch which reveals the Tower of Omens behind the waterfall and raises a bridge to it. They enter the tower only to find that Mumm-Ra has been following them and that Jaga is alive.
To the ThunderCats’ horror, Mumm-Ra casts away the lantern that holds Jaga but he is saved by Cheetara. Mumm-Ra is angered by this and blasts her across the room. Lion-O tries to help her but Tygra tells him to go for the book as Panthro engages Mumm-Ra. Panthro’s attacks are both swift and powerful but a surprisingly agile Mumm-Ra dodges all but one of his strikes in his mummy form. When Panthro boasts that a “bag of bones” is no match for him, Mumm-Ra begins to chant and transforms into his true form. he then proceeds to knock Panthro away with a blast of energy from his mouth. He ignores the ThunderKittens who try to engage him and flies up after his prize. Lion-O and Tygra are ascending the tower steps to get to the book and Mumm-Ra is trying to knock them off with his energy blasts. Tygra uses his disappearing technique to grab onto Mumm-Ra’s foot, his intent to buy Lion-O more time to reach the book. When Lion-O reaches the top, he sees the book. As he stares for a moment in wonder, Mumm-Ra reaches the top and tries to lay clam to the book. Lion-O powers up the sword and they begin to fight. Cheetara answers the call of the sword by wall running up to the top of the temple and planting a foot square in Mumm-Ra’s face. Once again, he blasts her, nearly knocking her off the upper platform. Lion-O runs to her rescue, but Mumm-Ra blasts him in the back, knocking him out. Mumm-Ra proceeds to taunt the young lord stating that he is just like his father. In anger, Lion-O asks what he knows of his father and Mumm-Ra says “only that I killed him,” as he attempts to do the same to son. Jaga saves him by using all of his remaining energy to cast a bright light at Mumm-Ra. Succumbing to his only known weakness, Mumm-Ra transforms into a raven and flies away, swearing that the book shall be his one day. The ThunderCats mourn the loss of Jaga a second time but a small light emerges from his now shattered prison and lowers the Book of Omens from the ceiling. The episode ends as Lion-O opens the book only to discover that the pages are blank.
It is no big surprise that the episode that was supposed to have answers for the viewers just raised a bunch of questions to draw us into the story even further. From his first appearance, Mumm-Ra has claimed “true ownership” of the Eye of Thundera. We see that this is a lie, he stole it and what’s more, he used ThunderCats to do it. This makes me wonder if the reason current Thunderians believed that technology was a myth is because it was abandoned after the defeat of Mumm-Ra. In the flashback, Captain Tygus not only had a weapon similar to the one the lizards use, he rode in a vehicle that looked a lot like the Feliner from the original show. The Tower of Omens also looks almost identical to the one from the original show. Lion-O obviously has a lot to learn about the power the sword holds. When Tygus took the Eye (then called the War Stone), it was not only powering a cannon capable of destroying space cruisers, it was holding the tower that housed the cannon together. Right now, Lion-O holds both the Book and Sword of Omens. The only reason Mumm-Ra should not be cowering in fear is due to the inexperience of the ThunderCats with either item. I look forward to a time when Lion-O can stand against Mumm-Ra on his own. There also has to be some sort of showdown between the ThunderTank and Mumm-Ra’s tank (gonna call it the PharoahTank for now). I’m thinking that when Panthro fell off the platform in Mumm-Ra’s pyramid, he either found the ThunderTank or built it from parts of other vehicles in there. We will have to wait and see on that as well. I have to thank the writers for a moment of dirty humor when Lion-O tells WilyKit that he and Cheetara were just trying to get “his sword to work.” Snarf and the twins seem to get in the way anytime Cheetara and Lion-O are having a “moment,” and then there is Tygra. He clearly has a thing for Cheetara but right now she only seems to pay attention to his little brother. I think they almost have to do something with that. Like I said, too many questions and contrary to what Lion-O said, we have none of the answers…yet.